Scientists have found new type of microbes, probably bacteria, in the extremely clean rooms of NASA. Read more…
Scientists have developed a method to use a type of bacteria, known as E. coli., for the production of diesel when required.
E. coli is a species of bacterium normally living in the intestines of humans and other vertebrates, especially the colon, but usually cause infections in other parts of the body. New and highly virulent strains of this bacterium that have recently evolved are particularly dangerous and can cause serious illness or death. Its full form is Escherichia coli.
Now, scientists have developed the technique to use E. coli bacterium to produce diesel. These bacteria convert sugars into fats to make their cell membranes. The same technique can be used to produce natural oils.
They found that the diesel produced by E. coli bacteria is very much similar to the traditionally used diesel fuel, thereby removing the requirement of mixing it with the petroleum products as normally done by the biodiesels obtained from plant oils. Read more…
This research has been published online in the journal Nature.
Researchers worked on bacteriophage (bacteria-infecting virus) and cholera bacteria. They found that the virus uses the immune system of bacteria against bacteria. This response of virus causes the cholera bacteria to be killed resulting in the production of more phage viruses leading to the killing of more bacteria.
In the study, researchers were working on the DNA sequences of phages taken from the stool samples of the patients with cholera in Bangladesh. They identified the genes of functional immune system in phages that were previously found in some bacteria. In order to confirm this finding, researchers exposed the phage virus resistant bacteria to the phage viruses having no such genes and found that the phage viruses were unable to kill the bacteria while in another experiment they exposed the resistant bacteria to the phage viruses with such genes and found that the virus was able to kill the bacteria. This experiment showed that the phages adopted functional immune systems to protect them from bacteria.
Researchers are very optimistic that this finding can help in further use of viruses in phage therapy in which viruses are used to kill bacteria, therefore bacterial infections, especially those bacteria which are resistant to almost all currently available antibiotics.
“Virtually all bacteria can be infected by phages. About half of the world’s known bacteria have this adaptive immune system, called CRISPR/Cas, which is used primarily to provide immunity against phages. Although this immune system was commandeered by the phage, its origin remains unknown because the cholera bacterium itself currently lacks this system. What is really remarkable is that the immune system is being used by the phage to adapt to and overcome the defense systems of the cholera bacteria. Finding a CRISPR/Cas system in a phage shows that there is gene flow between the phage and bacteria even for something as large and complex as the genes for an adaptive immune system,” Kimberley D. Seed, Ph.D., First author and a postdoctoral fellow in Camilli’s lab, said in a statement. Read more…
Di-iron hydrogenase (Fe-Fe hydrogenase) is a bacterial enzyme that helps the bacteria to produce hydrogen from water. Some bacterial enzymes have a huge turnover of 10^4/s for the production of hydrogen from water. (Selloni et. al. 2013).
Researchers have found that the efficient catalytic site in the isolated [FeFe] H subcluster is the Fe d center distal (d) to the [4Fe-4S] H cluster while the other iron site, i.e. the proximal Fe p, has higher energy barriers. (Sbraccia et. al.)
It is one of the inspirational natural materials for scientists to produce hydrogen for its utilization as a fuel.
P. H.- L. Sit, R. Car, M. H. Cohen, A. Selloni, 2013. Oxygen tolerance of an in silico-designed bioinspired hydrogen-evolving catalyst in water. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1215149110
Sbraccia C, Zipoli F, Car R, Cohen MH, Dismukes GC, Selloni A., (2008). Mechanism of H2 production by the [FeFe]H subcluster of di-iron hydrogenases: implications for abiotic catalysts. The journal of Physical Chemistry. B. doi: 10.1021/jp803657b
This research has been published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists, in this study, worked on the bacteria, which has the ability to produce hydrogen from water with the help of enzymes called as di-iron hydrogenases. Some bacterial enzymes have the turnover number of hydrogen production from water as large as 10^4/s.
Scientists developed computer models to develop and design practical ways of utilizing such enzymes by the humans for the production of hydrogen from water and its efficient utilization.
For a long time, oxygen, during the process, was creating a problem. So, it was one of the initial steps to remove oxygen’s effects. In this recent study, scientists have removed the problem of catalysts’ poisoning by the oxygen affecting the efficiency of the design. They used “hydrogenase-inspired catalyst/electrode complex” ([FeFe]P/FeS2) and found through “simulations” that the designed complex has the ability to reduce oxygen. Moreover, this artificial hydrogen-producing catalyst can be made utilizing the abundant and cheap materials such as iron. Read more…